Dr. Woolley recommends either simultaneous implants or bilateral implants with a limited interstage interval for a majority of his patients. “The cost is going to be much less if you do simultaneous because you’re going to have one OR [operating room] time. You’re not going to have two anesthesia charges. You’re not going to have two hospitalizations,” he explained.
At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the standard procedure is to implant bilateral cochlea sequentially. “The main reason for that approach is that we like to verify that the children are responding well to the first implant, and that they’re getting good benefit initially, before proceeding with the second,” explains John Germiller, MD, assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he is also director of clinical research for otolaryngology.
As well, Dr. Germiller said that there may simply be no significant medical advantage to doing two at once: “So far there are not overwhelming data that prove that if you do it simultaneously it’s better than if you do it with a short delay…meaning under a year between the two, and ideally, under six months.”